Casey Anthony has been ordered to pay a sum more than $97,000 to law enforcement agencies on Thursday, as compensation for their efforts to find the missing child. She was acquitted of the murder charges of her two-year-old daughter.
Earlier, a demand was made by the State Attorney's Office that Casey Anthony be forced to pay more than $500,000 as investigative and prosecution costs, but the demand was rejected by Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry.
The prosecuters had argued that had she told the truth in the beginning, the extensive search for Caylee and the investigation into her death could have been avoided.
The current amount levied on Anthony are assessed on the basis of costs only related to the missing persons part of the investigation of the time when the authorities believed that Caylee was alive and were still searching for her.
However, the total amount would once again be revised by Orange County Sheriff's Office for the 30 sheriff's office employees who had worked on the investigation. The revised investigative expense report from July to September 2008 will be submitted on Monday by the agency, and the amount could increase.
When Anthony stood trial for Caylee's death, her attorney Jose Baez revealed to the jury that Caylee had been dead a month before even the missing report was filed in July 2008. He also said that the toddler had accidentally drowned in the family's swimming pool and a panicked Anthony tried to cover the death up, instead of notifying the authorities. Caylee's skeletal remains were later found in December 2008 in a wooded area not far from the Anthony home.
Casey was charged with first-degree murder in Caylee's death by State prosecutors who were seeking death penalty for her.
Although Anthony was acquitted of the murder charges by the end of the trial, the jury found her guilty of misdemeanor counts of lying to the police in the initial stages of investigation.
The Florida statute mandates that convicted individuals be assessed with no less than $50 per case for a misdemeanor conviction and no less than $100 per case for a felony conviction. The law does not establish an upper limit on a potential assessment, a csmonitor.com report said.
In most cases, the investigative costs do not usually go higher than a couple of hundred dollars. It is not clear as to how often defendants have been asked to pay an amount as high as $97,000 or more.
Specifically, Anthony has been ordered to reimburse the Florida Department of Law Enforcement $61,505, the Orlando Police Department's Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation $10,284 and the Orange County Sheriff's Office $25,837, said the report.
Although a judge is required by the statute to set out a payment schedule, Perry has not specified as to when or how Anthony must pay the state.
Anthony has been declared indigent by the courts and her defense costs have been paid by taxpayers.
The only possible way for Anthony to earn such a huge amount might be through lucrative book or movie deals, or may be paid interviews. But as of now, no deals have been disclosed.
Anthony is currently in Florida and is serving a year of probation for an earlier check-fraud conviction. Her location has not been disclosed by the authorities for security reasons.
Not much is known about her currently except that she is undergoing psychological treatment, according to her attorney, Jose Baez.
PEOPLE magazine said that a source close to Anthony revealed that Anthony has been seeing a grief counselor and will soon see a female psychiatrist.
She needs serious help, says the source. We'll see what this counseling will do, the report said.
Baez had previously said that Anthony needed treatment for the trauma of losing her child and her subsequent imprisonment.